Today’s front-page article in the Los Angeles Times about one family’s struggle to find affordable housing after being forced to vacate their long-time Echo Park residence does much to illustrate the need for affordable housing, but also contains a common thread that I often see in articles about rising rents in previously low-rent areas:
She and Sanchez talked for a while about what was happening to them. The whites were moving in, they agreed, pushing out the Latinos, the immigrants. “It seems a little bit like discrimination, doesn’t it?” Sanchez wondered.
It is discrimination. But on the basis of cash, not on the basis of race. I feel that too often race enters into the equation when talking about housing. Yes, it is a side effect that more whites are moving into areas that were predominantly Latino, but is that the real issue? I am still trying to decide if turning an economic discussion(property owners want to increase profit, renters want to decrease spending) into a racial issue(whites want to move in, Latinos have to move out) is actually counterproductive to finding a real solution. Does it prevent an open dialogue about what is actually happening(lack of affordable housing)?
I am still trying to develop my thoughts on the issue(if there even is one), and I invite your comments.